Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Just Wait Already, Or Why Fantasy Drafts In June Are All Kinds Of Wrong

So I get these emails, I do, as being the oldest continuingly operating low-traffic sports blog in all of Blogfrica... and they ask me to participate in mock fantasy football drafts, so that some other Web site can generate a few thousand words of free pointless copy.

And hey, I like free pointless copy as much as the next guy, and it's late June, when the only thing that exists is dog day baseball and NBA aftermath, and this blog will not go down the Olympic path. So why not join in a pointless draft and engage your fellow hole fillers?

Because, well, I just resent the shrinking of the calendar. Don't you? It's one of the signs of Creeping Codgerdom that you really hate what happens to holidays, since they are always ahead of the event. My kids finished school last week, and I'm pretty sure that there will be Back To School sales within a couple of weeks, if they haven't started already. One of my clients at the Paying Gig (it's no longer a Day Job, since I can pretty much do it 24/7 now if I care to) sells Halloween costumes, and that season starts in, gulp, August. (Parents go first, then teens, then adults before the deadline. It makes sense, since you need to acclimate a little kid to wearing a costume, but still -- you are buying a Halloween costume 3 months in advance. Seek help.)

July, dammit, is the time to *start* thinking about football, with low-pressure preseason games and camp battles serving as the backdrop to your over-reading,, and unforeseen injuries making everything seem like you've started too soon with your rankings. August is the time to massage those rankings. Late August is the time to actually draft. Doing any of these things any earlier than that is just *begging* the Fantasy Gods to strike your picks down with mange, cholera, veneral disease and jungle fever, because you have made the ridiculous decision to draft players before several months of their day to day life. Since the day to day lives of football players generally involves having an endless series of car accidents for a career.

So why do we do it?

Simple; no one knows how to stop watching sports, and very few people, in terms of the overall marketplace, wants to stop thinking about anything but football.

I'm lucky, in that my hoops fix is total, and my roto baseball team hasn't been too terrible yet; it means that February through June is a long hot bath of the NBA, wondering why everyone else doesn't want to get in the jacuzzi. But if you aren't into the second and third choices, Februry through July is just a constant slog of Waiting For Football, and the waiting makes people snap and draft fantasy teams at an absurd time of the year.

So here's what I think you should do instead: read a book. Or six. Watch a bunch of movies and TV shows that are outside of your comfort zone. Give more of your day to your kids or your spouse or your friends or even your work; that last bit is actually canny strategy, since the people who work hard in summer drag stand out like Hummers at the Trader Joe's.

Me, I'm going to try to write things that I haven't written before (hard, since we're over 4,000 posts now). I'll continue to explore new ways to play poker, up my gym time, swim more, do the yard work without hate, and maybe even up the sleep level to the point where narcolepsy isn't a constant worry.

In short, I'm going to recharge, and regroup, and try not to think about football before it's really time to think about football.

And while the world won't do the same, that doesn't make it right. But I'm old enough to not care too much about what the world thinks.

Or to participate in mock drafts in freaking June...

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